Ruling AKP deputy stirs debate after saying govt 'treats disabled people like humans'
TEKİRDAĞ – Doğan News Agency
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Tekirdağ deputy Ziyaeddin Akbulut’s remarks, which many found offensive, have stirred a debate over disability rights on social media. DHA photoRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Tekirdağ deputy Ziyaeddin Akbulut has stirred controversy by claiming that parents used to pray for the death of their disabled children, but are now doing the opposite so they can receive disability benefit from the state.
“Some [parents] used to wish for the death of the disabled bedridden people in their houses. Now they say they are praying for them to live longer, saying ‘This is our home’s richness. I get paid 450 or 500 Turkish Liras from the state [for the nursing of the disabled person]. We are taking care of them well.’ This shows the change of mentality,” said Akbulut on Sept. 17.
“The parents [of disabled people] used to be ashamed of having them on the streets. But we treated them [disabled people] like humans, like men, with a law introduced by our government in 2005,” he added, speaking during the opening of the Müjgan Serkan Karagöz vocational school in Tekirdağ’s Çerkezköy district.
Akbulut’s remarks, which many found offensive, have stirred a debate over disability rights on social media.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Şafak Pavey referred to both the Magna Carta and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights via her Twitter account.
“Human dignity is not a property that can be bestowed by someone. It is not bestowed, you have equal rights by birth,” wrote Pavey, who was herself disabled in an accident.
“If you do not regard the disabled as an equal part of the country, but rather as a burden, then you take more than you give, including respect,” she also wrote.